AVROM PTASHKIN (ABRAHAM PTASZKIN) (1902-late March 1943)
He was born in Mrozy, near Warsaw, Poland. He graduated from a Hebrew high school and studied humanities and literature at Warsaw University. From 1910 until September 1939 he lived in Warsaw. He was active in “Tseire-tsiyon” (Young Zionists) and the Labor Zionist party. He initially wrote poetry in Polish and after 1919 in Yiddish. He debuted in print in Befrayung (Liberation) in Warsaw (1919) with a lyrical poem; later, he published poetry as well as articles on painting and literature. He translated Russian and Polish poetry, and published journalistic work in: Befrayung, Bafrayung-arbeter shtime (Liberation-voice of labor), Unzer frayhayt (Our freedom), Folk un land (People and country), Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves), Arbeter tsaytung (Workers’ newspaper), Fraye shriftn (Free writings), Vokhnshrift far literatur (Weekly writings for literature), and Foroys (Onward), among others, in Warsaw; and over the years 1933-1939, he was a regular contributor to Dos vort (The word) in Warsaw. For a time he was the Warsaw correspondent for: Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal; Di tsayt (The times) in London; and Idishe tsaytung (Jewish newspaper) in Buenos Aires; among others. He also wrote for the Polish Jewish serials: Nasz Przegląd (Our overview) in Warsaw; Nowe życie (New life) in Cracow; and Chwila (Moment) in Lemberg; among others. A number of his poems were translated into Polish by M. Shimel. In book form: Un azoy vet nisht zayn (It won’t be that way), poetry (Cracow, 1932), 46 pp.; Fun harbst biz harbst, lider (From fall to fall, poetry) (Warsaw, 1933), 62 pp.; Daytshland, daytshland! A tog-bukh fun a dikhter (Germany, Germany! Diary of a poet) (Warsaw, 1934), 63 pp.; Oyb ir vilt, iz dos glik, lider (If you wish, it’ll be happy, poetry) (Warsaw, 1935), 79 pp.; Urloyb in tatren (Vacation in the Tatra [Mountains]) (Warsaw, 1938), 45 pp. From October 1939 to 1940, he was in Bialystok, employed doing physical labor, and later, together with other Jewish refugees, he was deported to a camp in a far-off region of Soviet Russia. He was living to see liberation. The entire time he was preparing to be taken to the land of Israel, but he never received an answer. Out of desperation he committed suicide.
Sources: Y. Rapoport, in Vokhnshrift far literatur (Warsaw) (May 31, 1934); Avrom Reyzen, in Di feder (New York) (Autumn 1934); H. Gutgeshtalt, in Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (September 27, 1935); B. Shnaper, in Foroys (Warsaw) (April 28, 1939); Yoysef Volf, Kritishe minyaturn (Critical miniatures) (Cracow, 1939); Keneder odler (Montreal) (February 7, 1944); Meylekh Ravish, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 1 (Montreal, 1945), pp. 162-64; M. Grosman, Heymishe geshtaltn: reportazhn, portretn, dertseylungen, minyaturn (Familiar images: reportage, portraits, stories, miniatures) (Tel Aviv, 1953), pp. 178-85; Yisroel Sheyn, Bibliografye fun oysgabes aroysgegebn durkh di arbeter-parteyen in poyln in di yorn 1918-1939 (Bibliography of publications brought out by the workers’ parties in Poland in the years 1919-1939) (Warsaw: Yidish-bukh, 1963), see index.
Khayim Leyb Fuks